People: Gravitate Accounting; Hexa; Andrew Jackson Solicitors; and more

Digital accountancy firm, Gravitate Accounting, has appointed Martin Dean as director of corporate finance to lead and build its newly-established corporate finance department.

Dean brings a wealth of senior experience to the role having joined from Shorts Accountants, where he worked for 11 years, most recently as senior corporate finance manager.

Previous to this, he held positions at Clayton & Brewill and Howsons.

He has extensive experience supporting businesses with mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, valuations, exits, forecasting, modelling and trustee services – working with sectors including technology/AI, SAAS, medical, environmental, manufacturing and distribution.

Dean, who joins as a shareholder at the Sheffield-based firm, said: “There is a genuine buzz at Gravitate Accounting because they do things differently.

“Building a Corporate Finance team within a dynamic, supportive and collaborative culture is such an exciting prospect and something I’m very much looking forward to.

“My role will be centred around making a meaningful impact for clients by working alongside them as a trusted strategic advisor to negotiate the very best deals for their business.

“We’re here to help clients make informed decisions, helping them to evaluate their growth and ownership plans at every stage of a business’ lifespan while also considering market conditions.”

Gravitate Corporate Finance will also offer a Corporate Finance for Accountants service, helping those businesses without an internal finance function to access expert advice and collaborating with other accountancy practices whose clients need this specialist support.

The firm plans to grow the team in the coming years, with Dean mentoring and coaching the next generation of corporate financiers to thrive in a digital-first environment.

He will also focus on the long-term strategy of Gravitate Accounting, helping to underpin further growth for the business.

Michael Crocker, co-founder of Gravitate Accounting, said: “We’re ecstatic to be able to welcome Martin to the team, he has an incredible reputation and a passion for opening up the right opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

“He is going to be a huge asset as we continue to respond to client needs, helping to build a full service offering right here while remaining focused on utilising cutting edge digital solutions available to the financial and accountancy sector.

“It’s humbling to see that we’ve grown this business to where it is now.”


Specialist engineering consultancy, Hexa, has expanded its capabilities and launched a new arm of the business covering ground engineering with the appointment of new director Matt Lomas.

He joins the team with more than 16 years’ industry experience and will now be heading “Hexa Land”.

The focus will be on helping clients solve complex environmental challenges related to brownfield sites; an area of huge development potential for landowners, but that requires specialist insight.

Lomas’s experience involves analysis and investigation of contaminated land, providing site assessments and due diligence within brownfield investigations.

He has supported project planning and management of operational contamination risks along with pragmatic and holistic geotechnical design.

Within his previous roles, he has covered ground engineering for development projects in the public and private sector as well as waste management and reuse of materials and environmental audits.

He said: “This is both an exciting personal career move for me as well as a natural evolution for Hexa. 

“I am eager to bring my experience and passion to this new venture and support this already brilliant business.

“My aim is to provide development focused, pragmatic geo-consultancy, helping to unlock difficult sites and promote sustainable brownfield development.

“Having spent 17 years in larger consultancies, I felt like now was the time for a new challenge and with Hexa, I have an opportunity to really shape my role and have ownership over this new team.

“I am keen to find collaborative and progressive people who fit well within the Hexa culture to support this growth.”

Hexa solidified its presence in the North last year, taking up residency at Studio 22 at 46 The Calls, Leeds, following the appointment of director Richard Osbond in late 2022.

Founding director, James Garment, said: “Expanding our services was always an ambition for Hexa, and now with Matt joining us, we can take those next steps into making Hexa Land a reality.

“It’s great to continue building our Leeds-based team too, and I know Matt will be a fantastic addition as well as helping to bring in more talented recruits.

“People are at the heart of what we do, and as well as Matt’s geo-environmental experience, he embodies our culture for prioritising clients and delivering on sustainability.”


Regional law firm, Andrew Jackson Solicitors, has appointed Amy Youngman, who has joined its tax and trusts team as an associate.

She has over 10 years’ experience advising on wills, trusts, the administration of estates and Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs).

As a full member of the global professional body STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), she has particular expertise in helping clients across issues concerning inheritance tax and lifetime planning, including advising landowners and business owners in respect of agricultural relief and business relief from inheritance tax.

Richard Hoare, partner, and head of private client services at Andrew Jackson, said: “We warmly welcome Amy to Andrew Jackson, as we strengthen further our existing team to meet continued demand for our services. 

“We remain committed to providing excellent legal advice tailored to our clients’ specific needs, and to building trusted relationships for the long term.

“I know that with Amy’s specialist experience and commitment, we will continue to provide the highest quality legal advice, as reflected in independent client feedback.”


Brighouse-based PR and marketing specialist, Unify, has made a number of internal promotions in recognition of the exceptional work and commitment made by the team.

With over 18 years of service between them, Sarah Thomas and Olivia Brackenridge have been appointed to PR account director roles.

Their day-to-day responsibilities will include overseeing the smooth operation of all client accounts, which span homewares, construction and KBB brands.

Thomas will lead on the consumer facing brands, while Brackenridge will head up the trade side.

Rio Saltonstall has been promoted to senior PR account executive, with her role focused on media relations to secure high-profile coverage for clients across online, print and broadcast channels to ensure the team meet performance benchmarks.

Finally, Sophie De Luca will fill the position of senior influencer & social executive. A rapidly expanding specialism at Unify, she will work with influencers and content creators across consumer brands to deliver activity which will drive sales and generate widespread awareness.

Emma Leonard, director, said: “This year is all about growth for Unify, which is why we thought it time to revisit our account structure, giving everyone defined responsibilities as well as extra motivation.

“We’re a small but incredibly hands on team, so we need to ensure everyone is developing at a rate that suits both them and the company.

“We’re looking at ways we can expand our offering to brands we already have on our roster, giving clients a rounded experience across digital and PR activity.

“We’ve identified some growth opportunities and are exploring ways to develop our skillsets in these areas. It’s a very exciting year ahead for us at Unify, and the team and I are really looking forward to what’s to come.”